More than 100 people packed into Clementine’s On Main in downtown New Iberia Thursday evening for a neighborhood watch meeting hosted by City Councilwoman Sherry Guidry.
The District 5 meeting was also an opportunity for event-goers to get introduced to New Iberia’s brand new police department. Along with several other special speakers, NIPD Chief Todd D’Albor and Mayor Freddie DeCourt took the opportunity to discuss how things have been going since the NIPD has been operational.
The event had the atmosphere of a pep rally for the NIPD, who officially took over law enforcement duties for the city of New Iberia July 1 after 14 years of New Iberia government contracting the job to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Guidry, took office in 2016, spoke about the work that has been done in the police department and city government during that time frame.
“This is one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had in my whole life. It doesn’t pay well, it’s a lot of heartache and haggling, but I’m enjoying what I do,” Guidry said, to a round of applause.
Along with the law enforcement issue, DeCourt talked about other recent positive news in New Iberia such as the recent announcement of a Rouses and Hobby Lobby in the city.
“We got to announce that the Hobby Lobby and Rouses is coming,” he said. “It brings jobs, it brings tax revenues and it brings shoppers from out of town. We’ve had 21 or 22 businesses open since we took office a year and a half ago.”
After the NIPD officers who attended were introduced, D’Albor talked about the positive steps that have taken place in the past week-and-a-half in regards to law enforcement.
“We’ve worked tirelessly for the past seven months to put this department together,” D’Albor said. “And you can see some officers here tonight who are dedicated to making our community better.
“You’re going to see things get better, we may have some bumps in the road-last night we had some instances of some burglaries- our guys have gotten together over the course of the day to address those issues.”
The event also included children and ministers who also spoke in support of the police department and the work Guidry has accomplished since becoming a City Councilwoman.